Not everything is seen on America’s Next Top Model, at least not yet. Doing a modeling show a notch higher, a uniquely Filipino-made concept, The Fiercest Of Them All comes up with elements of Survivor and Amazing Race, seeking to break new ground on television where fantasy and dynamics of reality are rolled into one.
The show looks and feels like an unfolding movie. Apart from what hopefuls usually do in a competition like photo shoots and catwalks, the concept is to inject an underlying story to the production.
Host Daiana Menezes plays a queen that gathers all the models and plays around with them in her kingdom of Camp Kanawan—a beautiful place nestled in Morong, Bataan. Three judges create challenges for the models causing many twists and turns along the way.
Composing the squad of judges are Matthias Rhoads, fitness trainer and model who recently made girls swoon as the groom in a fast food chain commercial; stylist and fashion writer Bea Jocom; and fashion designer Manu Respal a.k.a Doggficher whose avant garde creations have graced the pages of Vogue Italia.
“The television show is shot like a movie unlike the other shows that are obviously shot in a studio. We want to showcase the television capabilities of Filipinos by highlighting the beauty of the place. We also use drones and six cameras as compared to just three cameras normally utilized in a movie,” producer and president of Overall Productions Inc. Tonino Habana told The Manila Times in an exclusive interview.
“This is the craziest competition in the world. We have selected regular girls that have unique characteristics. We have a model that is short, a law graduate, a promo girl, a casino online dealer, a fitness model, etcetera—these are not really professional models. We wanted to see the characters of each one, and we wanted to show the public that these girls can do the challenges,” he added.
Vying for the bragging rights of being the “Fiercest Of Them All” are Betsy, Krisha, Christine, Aya, Peru Morena, Tanya, and Candice. However, they are joined by true-blue models from the international arena, adding spice to the competition.
During the show’s first episode on March 5, a big twist came after they have brought in the international models—former Miss Peru-Universe who’s a veteran of New York Fashion Week, a former Miss Venezuela, a Ukrainian international model who trains models and beauty queens in reality, a Slovakian model who works from all over the world, and a Filipino-Austrian model.
“Our international models are real top models. It’s an experiment we are trying to see when ordinary girls level up and compete with our international models. So it’s very interesting. Our international models have never done these challenges themselves except catwalks and photo shoots,” Habana shared.
Tanya, who’s one of the competitors told The Manila Times that aside from the physical, mental and emotional challenges, the entry of the foreign models made the competition tougher.
“When we saw the foreigners, we felt like the challenges will be a lot harder because compared with their experience, we are not in any inch near them. They have been doing it for the longest time. They have ample range of knowledge in modeling but thankfully the challenges are not really focused on just modelling,” she said.
“Audience need to watch this because it’s the first on Philippine television. Even if you say there are lot of reality TV shows out there, the challenges we have in this show are really different,” Tanya added.
For tomorrow’s Episode 4, Habana said viewers will be amazed with the tasks the models have to do. “If they think that walking and posing on a hanging bridge is an interesting, challenging and visually spectacular, there will be more [than that]. We have so many challenges even the foreign models never experienced in their lives.”
Each challenge has a prize of P10,000 and the grand winner will go home with P300,000 and an exclusive contract as talent of Overall Productions Inc.
A celebrity edition of The Fiercest Of Them All is now being discussed by the company and GMA Network.
Directed by Martin Rey Aviles and written by Ino Habana, The Fiercest Of Them All airs every Sunday, 9 p.m. on GMA News TV.